Help desk software is a must for any sizable organization dealing with both employee and customer requests. Without this tool, it can be hard to centralize support requests, and some of them are likely to fall through the cracks.
You may find yourself asking, “How does help desk software work?” Understanding the answer to this question and knowing what features to look for is critical when choosing the right tool for your business. In this article, we’ll talk about what help desk software is and how it works. We’ll also discuss three critical help desk features to look for.
How Help Desk Software Works
If you’ve ever submitted a support ticket online, you’ve probably already used help desk software. The purpose of a help desk is to provide your business with one or more channels for customers and employees to submit support requests or tickets, such as live chat.
Once you submit a support request, the help desk software creates a corresponding ticket for it. Requests from every channel go to the same “inbox,” and then are assigned to a support specialist.
From then on, the agent in charge does their best to answer your questions or solve any technical issues you might be having. If they succeed, you walk away happy—and if they have problems finding a solution, your ticket will remain open until they do.
Different help desk solutions offer different sets of features that may adapt better to your business or simply make your work easier.
3 Help Desk Features You Should Look For
No single help desk solution is a perfect fit for any business. A lot of companies make decisions based on their budgets alone. While this approach is practical, it also ignores the fact that not every help desk software works the same. Regardless of which option you choose, below are three features it should include.
1. Support for Multiple Ticket Submission Channels
In most cases, you likely want to offer customers and employees multiple channel options they can use to submit tickets. The most basic way to handle incoming support requests is via a website contact form.
However, businesses also use dedicated phone lines, live chat, and social media platforms—all to help route support requests.
Ideally, whichever help desk software you choose will provide you with various ticket submission channel options, so you’ll be able to decide which avenues work best for your intended audience.
2. Help Desk Knowledge Base Functionality
When running a help desk, you’re probably going to encounter many recurring questions and technical issues. Dealing with every one of those tickets as if it were the first time you encountered each question isn’t the most practical solution.
Help desk software often offers knowledge base functionality. By setting up a knowledge base, you create a library of entries to address the most common questions customers or employees might have.
Users can check the knowledge base before they submit tickets, which can help reduce the workload on your employees. You can also have internal knowledge bases only support agents can access, including privileged information and guidelines to help them resolve tickets faster.
3. Ticket Routing and Management Functionality
The purpose of help desk software is to make it easier for you to address support requests efficiently. Help desks should include a multitude of ticket management tools and features, such as:
- A central queue for all support tickets
- Automatic ticket routing, so requests get assigned to available agents
- Ticket categorization functionality to enable you to filter support requests based on the type of issue
- Multiple alert levels for tickets
Although those are different features, they all fall under the banner of ticket management. The more management tools your help desk offers, the easier it will be for agents to seamlessly deal with requests.
If your help desk is disorganized, tickets will likely fall by the wayside, and you’ll have to deal with disgruntled customers and employees. You might also miss critical issues with your business because you’re overlooking important tickets.
Who Should Use Help Desk Software?
Help desk software can benefit any business with an online presence. Some classic examples of organizations that get the most out of help desk tools include:
- Online service sites
- Schools and universities
- Healthcare industry
If there’s a chance customers will need to contact you to get help for the products or services you provide, you can benefit from help desk software. The best option to choose will depend on your business and the types of features you need.
As your company grows, so do the benefits of help desk software that can help you manage internal service requests. In many cases, your employees need technical assistance, and by providing it, you can ensure your business keeps running smoothly.
Many help desk software solutions have you pay by the “seat.” This means you pay a fixed amount for every support agent account you need. At the start, you might not need too many agents, but it’s always smart to choose software with room for growth.
If you’ve ever asked yourself the question, “How does help desk software work?” you’ll be surprised at how straightforward the core features of most solutions are. Essentially, help desk software helps you centralize support requests, assign them to the right agents, and keep track of communications.
The help desk features you get access to will depend on your software choice. Some solutions offer more functionality, but there are the core three features we recommend looking for:
- Support for multiple ticket submission channels
- Help desk knowledge base functionality
- Ticket routing and management features